Friday, August 27, 2010

Laid Back Consult for my Egg Donation

I had my consult yesterday afternoon, with the recipient's clinic. Talk about laid back! If I was there in person, I think they would have offered me a massage or some chamomile tea! The consult lasted about 15 minutes and pretty much were the same questions that were on the new patient forms I filled out, but it was all good. We talked about my protocol and what would change based on my "advanced maternal age" (Dontcha' just love that phrase?) but let's face it in the world of makin babies, 36 is basically what 46 is to Hollywood stars..

So Dr. D is going to bump up my medicine protocol to match my age and then monitor me closely in case my E2 (estrogen) spikes too high so they can back down my stimulation medicine. To give you an idea of what it will be like here is a run down of an egg donation (from the donor's point of view)

  • Birth Control Pills to synch the cycle of the recipient to the donor (this can be 3 wks or more of active pills only)
  • Lupron (think of the needle a diabetic uses, injections in your stomach for about 2 weeks, this keeps you from ovulating) This is the baby of the IVF meds.
  • After week 1 of Lupron, you are checked to see if you are suppressed (not about to ovulate) if so they introduce the bad mamma-jamma drugs, the actual IVF stimulation drugs. These are LONG needles that are either injected into your hip/thigh OR if you get the short straw into your BUTT yes think penicillin shot. Some meds have to be done intramuscular (or IM ) and well that's the broadside of my big ole big ole.. This happens for about 7-12 days, depending on how well you respond to the drugs
  • Transvaginal ultrasounds along the way to check the egg growing (tube up your vajayjay
  • Once they are "ripe" so to speak, one final BUTT shot of HCG (this is the chemical pregnant women produce that makes your EPT say yes or + or  2 lines, you get it.) to super charge the eggs maturation, kinda like the shot they give women in premature labor to rapidly mature a babies lungs.
  • Retrieval - long metal vacuum attached to a long needle that is used to pierce your ovaries to retrieve each egg visible on the ultrasound (so think if you have 12-15 on each side, that's getting stuck 30 times) LUCKILY most clinic knock you out for this part. Some do just give twilight sedation or Valium (I don't think so for me buddy!!) So when you wake up you just feel crampy and want to take a nap.
  • Your part is finished after that!
  • Eggs are mixed with recipients husbands sperm and hopefully 12-24 hrs they get a call that all of their eggs fertilized and they have embryos! 
  • 3 -5 days later 2-4 embryos are transferred to the recipient and hopefully they implant. About a week after that a pregnancy test is done at the Dr. office via a blood draw this is the BETA and lots more blood tests and ultrasounds follow if things went well.
And that folks, is how you make a baby in my world! 

So that's what I have to look forward to in this next few months, depending on when we get started..
I am going to update here each step of the way once it is underway so you can all cheer me on! I am hoping for at least 12-15 mature eggs so my recipient "D" has a better chance of having nice quality embryos at the end.  

Stay tuned for the Egg Donor Chronicles

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Setting the goal and reaching it

So we are on our way with saving for this journey. I still can’t believe we are trying to pull this off by Spring 2011 (I always was an overachiever) I am praying this time I didn’t set myself up for failure. I mean look at the numbers folks, they ain’t pretty. We need approximately $30,000 to make this happen and that’s the LOW ball estimate. That’s the KIA version i.e.; no complications, no bumps in the road and success right out the gate. The Mercedes version runs about $45,000-$65,000 (and I will crawl into a hole and die because this version is NOT in my realm of possibility).

We will have a leg up in the next few months from some good decisions we made earlier (My egg donation, property tax refund, income tax refund) like paying our car off early and saving that money instead for the Babydream Fund, but is it enough? I mean, we already have our budget stretched threadbare and “J” is working on average 20 hrs of OT every 2 weeks. Now to do my part, I am kicking up my ebay sales and stashing every dime I make into our high interest savings acct (that gives us the ultra high 1.4% interest rate) but still is it enough? This is where we are and waaaaaaaay down at the end is where we need to be…

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can I really pull this off?

I know you hear of people selling things online, having garage sales or fundraisers to help with the costs of adoption, some medical crisis and yes, even IVF, but can it REALLY happen? As soon as we decided to give this one last shot, I kicked it into full gear with selling anything I could get my hands on to help finance this massive undertaking. I mean let's face it, $30K is what some people make in a year and we need that by February if we want to start this journey by then. I say February because I REEEALLY don't want to proceed without have all if not most of the funds to do this upfront. This will alleviate alot of stress on our part and I am sure it will give Casey a sense of security knowing we do not have to scramble to get money for any procedure or testing she may need or just anything pertaining to this. So this leaves us with rearranging our budget to the tightest of tight setting (I mean Ramen noodle tight y'all!) not to mention "J" working on average 100 hrs every pay period (yes I am thankful he has the option to do this).

BUT.. Yes there is always a but no matter how much budgeting we do, we still have our normal bills which are not pennies by any means. Mortgage, Car payment, utilities, hell these eat up a nice chunk of cash each month. Luckily our house payment is going DOWN, since we homesteaded when we purchased and that should kick in right about now since 2010 property taxes are just about due. We stand to save over $100 a month on this, plus the refund of the overpayment of taxes during the year. This will help but in the grand scheme of things, it will be LESS than $1500 dollars and it doesn't even cover the meds for a cycle (how's that for jaw dropping!)...

So where does that leave us you ask? Well, I will tell you.. It leaves me hawking my wares everywhere I can, that's where! Any free website that allows me to list, I have stuff there.. While I detest the amount of money I have to pay EBAY for selling items, they are still by far the best way to reach alot of people quickly. And also... While reading blogs of others who are in the same or similiar boat as we are, I too decided to build us a fundraising page. It will bring readers to my story (I hope) so someone else suffering through this may find some support and it gets more eyes on my fundraising attempts. I am sure some naysayer will pipe in and say "that's kinda like begging".. Well when your dream feels so far away that you sometimes in a tiny corner of your heart feel like it maaay not come to pass, you will beg, borrow and steal to make it happen, that's my reply to that in advance.. With that said check out my stuff y'all K, thanks! =)

A Lovely Day

So we met with "C" today! I will now use her name, with permission. Casey is an AMAZING young lady. We hit it off right away! Her DH (darling husband) is super sweet and very quiet, with just enough humor thrown in. They are such a cute couple and you can see how much they love each other. It was really nice having lunch with them and then just sitting and talking for a few hours. Before we knew it, it was getting late and a storm was rolling in so we all hauled it back to our cars!

We talked about everything we could think of regarding the contracts, insurance and anything in between that we felt would or could possibly come up. That way we were all on the same page and there won't be any surprises once the lawyers get involved. We have decided to get the policy I found Casey looked it over and we went over the pros and cons of the policy vs. a maternity indemnity plan card (kinda like AFLAC) or just paying private pay at a birthing center, and while all would be fine to go with the birthing center private pay, in the event of twins, the birthing center is no longer an option for delivery and that would leave us uninsured for a hospital delivery.

I am sure it will probably work out with a normal singleton delivery and we end up going to the birthing center, but that LEEETLE chance of twins or any complication is outweighing everything else and we keep saying we want to do this right so that means making sure Casey's coverage is great! So, we are planning to have Casey, her DH and their little one over one weekend soon to grill and just hang out, we are really excited and can't wait to see them again! Man, February can't get here fast enough!

In the meantime, we are just saving every penny we can get our hands on and stashing it for this expensive, exciting journey. With that said, back to my Babydreams Fundraising Listings or for all my ebay listings go here: Baby Fund Ebay Listings

Friday, August 20, 2010

Surprised Myself

Well today I actually got more accomplished than I thought! I researched all day trying to find an affordable health plan option for "C". We still both are in agreement on the birthing center, BUT with IVF there is ALWAYS the chance of multiples and if that is the case then, the birthing center option is out. I have talked with 3 different facilities who all told me the same thing. "Unfortunately, this would move the pregnancy into the high risk category and while we could provide prenatal care, we absolutely would not be able to assist in the delivery" OOOOOOOk... So, I FOUND a great insurance policy!! The only scary thing is the plan *may* change before it goes in force. Due to the changes in healthcare reform, somethings that are available won't be and some that aren't will be, yada yada... I don't want to get the policy too far in advance BUT I do need it, so that there is the current dilemna folks..

Oh and also too (thanks Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, I love saying that now) I totally found a few lawyers who are well versed in surrogacy law and have a few estimates on contracts and affirmation of birth (our names going on BC directly) I have a meeting with another to see what their fees are (not sure why they couldnt tell me over the phone but whatevs) So Insurance issue solved?= CHECK! Contract lawyer found?= CHECK!

The only catch in my day is a girl that uses the clinic we are looking to work with stated they don't have the best "one on one" care with the patients.. She is using them for a different issue than I would be but now I am on the fence.. I mean, I am a big girl and all and I dealt with that PLEN-TEEE with my last clinic but is that as important as their take home baby stats? (For all who don't know each clinic has to publish their success/failure rates to the Society for Reproductive Technology ) so having amazing stats is a big bonus, 'cuz let's face it no one wants to work with the kid that failed science class on their science project, ya know? Yeah, so The clinics with THE BEST stats are out of my league, but I CAN go to a clinic with some pretty damn good stats and this clinic is one of them... There are a few others in the running but this one is within a few hrs of my house vs. a plane ride or SEVERAL HRS in the car.. So what's a girl tah do?? I guess I will keep researching until it is closer to my estimated start date (After the holidays and this egg donation I am in the process of doing) and see how I feel and whichever place seems like it is going to give us the BEST chance of taking home a baby (or TWO) then we are going with them (as long as they fit nicely into my cute black budget clutch)... Ok quit reading this and go to bed!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Making progress on this journey

We have been actively working on the surrogacy portion of our journey and I can now tell you that we have OFFICIALLY chosen our surrogate! Well, we chose each other really... It feels SO amazing knowing that we have that part of the journey behind us. If you have read any of our story, you know this part is the scariest, because you have to trust for all intents and purposes a STRANGER to carry your baby. As an intended parent, you hope that as your first act, you chose someone who will treat this pregnancy as you, yourself would. For us we have found that in let's call her "C" for now.. She is amazing. While she is young at 21, she is very mature and well spoken. She has a supportive husband who is more reserved and laid back, a nice fit. They have a beautiful little girl and she had no complications during her own pregnancy. Her extended family is also very supportive and that is a HUGE part of this process as a surrogate, if your family doesn't support you, the chances of you actually ever being in a surrogacy arrangement are slim. But we have none of that to worry about luckily. We have been in talks with "C" for a while now through email and then we moved on to phone calls. Our official meeting is this SUNDAY! We are meeting for a nice lunch just the four of us. We have already agreed on all the major parts of the contract so that's just a formality getting it written up and having all parties sign it.

The next item on my agenda is interviewing birthing centers. This is something "C" and I both felt strongly about. We want to experience the birth as calmly and relaxing as possible. And in the interest of honesty, this option is MUCH more affordable than a hospital birth. Most people would be surprised to know that lot's if not majority of insurance companies have a surrogacy exclusion written in them (I know our policy does) meaning any pregnancy acheived FOR surrogacy is not covered. That means we would have to pay out of pocket for the Dr. visits, delivery and any other things needed (the average is $15-$20K) and that could easily spiral out of control. So, I rambled all of that to say, we have decided to go with a more affordable AND natural route, i.e, the birthing center and midwives.. I am so excited with all of these things we have going on, it's so much but it's wonderful at the same time.

In the mean time, today I received the official APPROVAL from "D's" clinic! So we are definitely a go! Now they will schedule my consult and I assume we will work out a schedule for meds and then I should be on the road to donating again! I can't wait to get to that stop on my journey because that means "D" will be that much closer to having her dreams as well. So today the news was ALL GOOD!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Good News....Bad News

So my much anticipated Day 3 labs and ultrasound were done today. The bloodwork results are not known to me at this time (the clinic should have the results and I should know something at the latest tomorrow morning) But the ultrasound obviously I could see right then. So as the tech is cruising around, she starts measuring follicles and I am asking questions like the pest I can be ("does that look normal?, "Is this what you expect to see from someone on day 3?", "What's that?") You know, all the good questions... So after she measures the around 13-15 small follicles (good sign in case you were wondering) she also measures the KING FUCKIN KONG OF CYSTS!! this monster is as big if not BIGGER than my ovary! I was FREAKING out and I seem to be the only person freaking out! Apparently us women folk get them all the time and "it's no biggie".. OH WAIT.. Except it is! Ya see, in the world of stim meds, there will be no injectin in your stomach, your thigh or your ass unless that thing is GONE. So I am awaiting the Dr.'s decision right now on whether or not I take BCP, have it drained or have it removed.. So that's about all I know for now folks.. When I know more, you will...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tomorrow....You're only a day away....

Tomorrow is the big day. I am hoping the test results don't take too long to come back, but who knows, it's been AGES since I have delved down this road and I don't remember how long it took everything to come in. I do know that I will be able to see my ovaries and see if there are lots of follicles brewing or not, so at least that is something, but the waiting will be on for that elusive FSH test. I will definitely be asking them how long for that to come in as soon as they start drawing blood! Nothing much else going on, doing ALOT of fundraising for our journey by getting rid of stuff we don't need or can live without and going over our budget with a fine-tooth comb and trimming where we can, that's about all. Coupons are a way of life now and anything saved goes to the "baby2011" fund. feel free to check out our efforts here: Baby fundraising and here:Babydreams Baby fundraising 
Oh and we watched Children of Men last night... Very good movie! Sad, interesting and definitely a must see.. That is all...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where I've been...

I found my old blog today and it was interesting reading it. Since I am being completely honest here, I wanted everyone to know where I came from. this pretty much details everything that happened when we first started out and then brings you back here to my current journey. Enjoy your weekend!

EDITED: Easyjournal is DOWN constantly. Thankfully I copied all my posts from my previous blog and added them to the beginning of this one so now they are all in one place.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Antral Follicle Count & FSH testing aka Day 3 Labs

So Monday is the big day.. I go in for my Antral Follicle count ultrasound (herein known as u/s since I'm lazy folks, work with me here) and my day 3 labs (basically my follicle stimulating hormone level) or FSH. This testing is extremely important and is consuming my world right now. Firstly, the pass/fail of these tests determine several factors in my journey.  IF these numbers and u/s do not say what the Dr. thinks they should, I will not be qualified as a donor. This will be a devastating blow to us financially AND emotionally as I am already extremely invested in my recipient. I love her dearly and cannot even fathom the thought of not being able to help her. I love that we are helping each other! BUT first, I have to pass these tests and anyone who knows me knows I HATE TO FAIL... So for all the praying folks out there, say a little one for me that Monday reveals nothing but passing grades, (THANKS). I will update Monday with any new info I have on the testing.

Back in the saddle

This blog is to document our journey through IVF (invitro fertilization) to build our family.  J (the husband) and I had a long talk a few years back, discussing whether or not we would try IVF again in order to have a child together. We suffered an incredible financial and emotional blow when our then surrogate scammed us and caused us to lose all the frozen embryos we had from our first IVF cycle. After this devastating blow, J didn't want to try again, and I understood. I wasn't dying to try again either.... At least that's what I thought. Turns out I WAS DYING TO TRY AGAIN! I just didn't know it at the time.. As the days, weeks and years went on, I felt empty and sad, but lived my life. 

I had no idea that secretly the desire was also creeping back into J's mind... A few months ago, we were lounging and enjoying each others company when he said "I think we should try again".. I was floored. I immediately said "OK!" We both paused and looked at each other, then said "wait.. are we really doing this?" We then came back to reality and realized YES WE ARE.. We have gone over our finances and set aside what we could, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to what we actually need... So I am doing an egg donation to help a wonderful couple achieve their dream, as well as to help fund our own dream... 

This blog is going to be my therapy. I want to document what I am going through and hope that I can inspire someone else to make their dream happen, no matter what. I can tell you this story won't always be pretty, but it will always be honest. So settle in folks, cause with IVF, you're ALWAYS in for a long ride!

Check it out